a little bit more about me

My name is Beth and I accidentally have found myself living in Arizona but I'm originally from Tennessee. My education is in history and anthropology, which means that I know a little about a lot of things and can hold my own at a cocktail party in mixed company. I work in museums, doing all sorts of things ranging from researching and writing exhibits to cataloguing absolute wickety wak. I love comedy, baking, photography, my daughter, dogs, and above all else, napping.*

* 2013 edit: Oh yeah, and my new son too.

This form does not yet contain any fields.

    Entries in urban (3)

    Wednesday
    Oct012014

    Tempe bike enthusiasts: just stick to your URL, please

    When I'm in a hurry, I usually tell people who aren't familiar with the Phoenix area that I live in Phoenix because it's just easier and faster than explaining that I live in the Phoenix metropolitan area but good GOD NO I do not live in Phoenix, UGH!

    Phoenix serves as adequate shorthand for a ton of satellite cities that all merge together in one giant sprawlopolis. But if I have time and/or am not lazy, I'll actually take the time to explain that I live just outside Phoenix in Tempe. It's an important distinction.

    Phoenix is enormous. It's more than 500 square miles big. Its growth has been made possible through nearly unchecked annexation of land since World War II and 20th century car-centered geography. Low-density housing developments seep farther and farther out from any urban center, leaving gaping holes in between - with all the residual effects. Basically, it might be the world's least sustainable city.

    Tempe, on the other hand, is much more compact. It is constrained on all sides by other cities, and so it leaned towards infill development and higher population density rather than sprawl. Something about it just feels more like a community than a giant city. It also just feels much more sustainably-minded than Phoenix. We have a solar water treatment plant, one of the city's golf courses is about to become a farm, and one of the big reasons we love living here instead of our giant sprawling neighbor is you can walk or bike just about anywhere you need to go yearround most of the whenever it is below 100 (so maybe 3 months a year). Now it's not just us that recognize the 165+ miles of bikeways- we just got named the 17th most bike friendly city in the US. We have this whole awesome bicycling community group here who's

    Oh Jesus their acronym is TBAG.

    I will now shut up about how hip my city is.

    Thursday
    Mar012007

    Dear PHX

    Dear Phoenix,

    I don’t know how else to say this, but I don’t think this is going to work out. It’s been fun and all, but I’m just not looking for anything serious right now. We’ve had a good time, but I just kinda need my space. 

    We’re just in different places in our lives. You’re in to making money, livin’ large, and enjoying the best that megalopolitan life offers. Me? I ‘m a little bit simpler. I dig a small local scene, people I know, and escaping to the great outdoors.  I don’t care and I don’t want to care about what shoes you’re sporting or where you hit up happy hour. 

    You try hard, I know you do, but you don’t get it. Like when I say I’m into the outdoors, I mean mountains and forests and camping under the stars. I don’t mean hanging by the pool perfecting my tan. (And speaking of tans, you really might want to start investing in sunscreen before you completely turn into pleather. Seriously).

    Best, FAM

     And you know what? Size does matter. Yours is WAY too big.

    Wednesday
    Nov222006

    0.16 MPH

    One of the sucky things about moving from a small town to a major metropolitan area is the traffic. Having just moved here a couple of months ago, I still don’t know my way around very well, so I’ve only figured out a couple of different routes between work and home. I had to close the museum today, so I didn’t get out until about 5:30. In normal traffic, it takes me no less than an hour to get home. But today’s the day before Thanksgiving and Arizona’s major airport lies between my work and my house. It took me 3 hours to get home tonight. That is not a misprint. Three FUCKING hours to go the 18 miles from my work to my front door. Sigh. I miss my small town life.